Happy Hour Vid: Juan Williams: 'I Said What I Meant to Say'

Commentator discusses circumstances surrounding his ouster from NPR

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NPR's decision to fire commentator Juan Williams for saying people in Muslim dress on airplanes make him nervous during an interview on Fox News attracted much comment today. Many voices have taken the position that even if what Williams said was objectionable, he was dealt with unfairly. That number may increase following his appearance on Fox News this afternoon to discuss the exact circumstances of his dismissal. According to Williams, the first question NPR News chief Ellen Weiss asked on their phone call Wednesday was what Williams "meant" to say with his remarks, to which he responded, "I said what I meant to say." Things just got worse from there, with Weiss calling the comments "bigoted" and "crossing the line."

According to Williams, even his request to have the conversation face-to-face was dismissed. "You mean," he recalls, "I don't even get the chance to come in and do this eyeball-to-eyeball?...I've been there for more than ten years, we don't have that chance to have a conversation about this?"

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.